Monday, 9 July 2012

How to: Papaya Face Mask

The papaya mask delicious ingredients
Papaya is an amazing fruit for the skin. It is a great antioxidant due to the very high content of Vitamin A. In addition, papaya fruit contains papain, which breaks down inactive proteins, and therefore helps to remove dead skin cells. This gives this bright orange fruit great exfoliating properties. If that all was not enough, papaya has also been said to have good anti-aging properties due to the high content of alpha-hydroxy acids (the AHAs). In addition, papaya can help with blemishes, uneven skin tone and will bring a lovely glow to the skin. 
I have read about all these amazing papaya qualities, and when I saw a reduced price fruit in a supermarket, I thought 'Why not give it a try?'
The mask is easy to do, but I must confess I did make a bit of a mess in the kitchen when preparing it. But I think it was mostly due to the fact I do not own a blender, and therefore a lot of mushing things up was involved. 
What you need:
- Half a papaya, pips scooped out
- 2 table spoons oats
- A dash of olive/coconut oil
- Juice of about 1/4 of a lemon
In the process
  1. Scoop out the seeds of the papaya and remove the skin. Cut the fruit into small pieces and mush it up either in a blender or with a fork
  2. Grind the oats 
  3. Mix the papaya and the oats together
  4. Add the oil and the lemon juice, and you're set to go!
  5. Apply the mask onto the whole face and neck, avoiding the eye area, leave for 10 mins or so and wash off
The end product...

Using half a papaya was actually enough for two applications. The oats in the mask helps to sooth the skin and add more exfoliation upon rinsing. After the mask my skin was very soft and refreshed, and it felt lovely to apply fresh and completely natural ingredients to my face! Would definitely recommend! My ingredients are only a suggestion, you can alter the recipe to suit your skin, for example you can add honey for sensitive skin, or maybe yogurt... If you try it, let me know how you get on... 

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Deep Cleansing Mask by Nude

I  wanted to do my new post about a product that has impressed me the most during the time of my blog-absence period. This product was, without a doubt, the Deep Cleansing Mask by Nude.
First of all, the brand. Nude was created by Bryan Meehan and Ali Hewson. Bryan was the creator of the Fresh&Wild natural health food stores around London. Together, Bryan and Ali wanted to create a skincare brand that is high-performance, luxury and of course, all-natural. I think the brand very nicely combines the two aspects that before were considered to be opposites: it is natural and luxury. I love the packaging of the brand: it is simple, clean, modern and feels so nice to the touch. The products are affordable but they look and feel like high-end stuff, and deliver the promised results too!     The products consist of natural ingredients, with some interesting stuff. They are free from the nasties like parabens, Sulphates, PEGs, TEAs, DEAs, Propylene Glycol, Phthalates, GMOs, Mineral Oils and Silicones.  It should be noted that the brand openly declares that they use a small amount of what they researched to be safe and non-irritating synthetic preservative ingredients. All of these ingredients are clearly stated on their labels. 
Now, the product: 
This mask is formulated for normal to oily skin, and would suit anyone with congested skin or suffering from spots. The mask is dark grey colour, and has a beautiful mousse consistency. This was one of the things I was particularly impressed with: unlike other kaolin clay masks, the consistency of the mask felt soft and non-drying. It goes on like a dream: very smooth and almost glides onto your skin. The main ingredient of the face mask is kaolin clay which absorb excess oils and impurities and helps to gently exfoliate. The mask also contains propolis, which has fantastic purifying and healing properties. The other great thing about this face mask is that it works as an exfoliator too. The gentle beads exfoliate the skin when you wash the mask off, making it a brilliant 2 in 1 product (i.e. I skip buying an exfoliator now...). 
In all honesty, if used once or twice per week, this mask (unlike any other I have tried), really de-congests the skin, revealing more glowing and healthy-looking skin. I cannot promise you that it will solve all your skin problems, but I don't believe that any one external product really can (i.e. a lot of how your skin looks depends on what you are eating and how you are feeling). But what I have noticed is that it really improves the condition of the skin, gently purifying it as well as healing any spots etc. It is very easy to use and wash off, making it a pleasant part of a weekly beauty routine! 

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Spiezia Organics Head and Hair Oil

There are so many hair treatments out there, lots to choose from! I wanted to try something different and new, and found this great Head and Hair oil by Spiezia Organics. I knew that oils are great for nourishing hair and thought I could give this treatment a try. Another thing that attracted me was the company itself and the fact that their products are 100% organic (that's right, 100%, certified by the Soil Association).
Lets hear a little bit about the company first. Spiezia makes 100% organic and natural products on an Organic Gear Farm based in Cornwall, England. They have a range of 34 products for face, body and hair care, mothers and babies oils and balms and a range of men products. It has been possible for Spiezia to make truly 100% organic products because they don't use water in their stuff: and if there is no water, there is no need to use any type of preservatives or anything else that may exist only in non-organic form. This means that Spiezia moisturizers are balms, not creams.
Now the treatment. The Head and Hair oil was created to stimulate healthy scalp and nourish hair. It contains lots of great ingredients, such as jojoba, sweet almond, apricot seed oils, and other healthy things such as burdock root extract, nettle leaf extract, rosemary leaf, sage and lavender. It is advised to massage into the scalp and along the hair and leave it on either for 20 minutes or overnight for a more thorough treatment. 
I have not had the courage to put it on my head... My hair tends to get oily quickly, and I do realize that the oil will not necessarily make it more oily, but balance it, but I just could not do it! The main thing I feel I personally need to get from a hair treatment is nourishing dry ends, so I happily just put it along my hair.
The oil itself is like any oil: pale yellow colour, no particular strong smell. I rub a little oil between my hands and spread it on my hair, then repeat a couple of times until I feel there is enough oil on my hair. Don't overdo it: the first time I applied the oil I thought I needed to put on lots of it for the hair to get moist, but you really don't, I would say overall about a tablespoon or a bit more for medium length hair. I then wrapped my hair on my head and pinned it up. I didn't leave it on overnight, although its very possible - just pop a towel on your pillow. I left the oil for about 30 minutes every time I used the product. 
The oil washes out relatively easily, although (perhaps due to paranoia) the first time I used it it did feel like there was something left on my hair. The second time, my hair felt completely fine and clean. The overall result without exaggerating is that after 2-3 uses my hair felt more nourished, silky, shiny and generally healthier. I was very impressed with the result. I have medium thickness hair, and this oil has definitely worked much better than any intense treatments that I have used on my hair for that extra nourishment. 

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Live Native Exfoliating Cleanser

Well, it has been a little while.... The reason for my lengthy absense was not at all my abandonment of pure and green beliefs, but the fact that I thought it was a good idea to do all the big things at once (you know, the moving house, starting a new job, and also, being with no internet for 3 weeks). But now I am settled in my new place, so, lets see what new natural products there are in store!
I have, now not-so-recently, been kindly sent a sample of Live Native Exfoliating Cleanser, which lasted me a few weeks, using it every other day. My first impression was how natural and 'earthy' the cleanser was. It kind of looks like mud - its quite dark brown, textured, it looks like there is nothing artificial in it whatsoever, which there isn't.
Live Native the company specialize in making natural, handmade skincare products. Their products are all handmade on the =Isle of Skye, where the beautiful unspoiled landscape must have been an inspiration for Live Native creator, Vicky Ewbank. Live Native products contain only natural ingredients and are vegan. Not only that, but the ingredients in the products are all cold-pressed and the company uses heat-free-blending of ingredients to save the active properties of enzymes, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. 
The Exfoliating Cleanser is based on Absorptive Moroccan Rhassoul Clay, which helps to deeply cleanse the skin as it attracts all the oil and dirt trapped in the skin. Organic oats in the  cleanser help to gently but effectively exfoliate the skin. I loved the other ingredients in the product, such as argan, coconut and calendula oils, which all help to cleanse the skin, but also nourish and calm it at the same time. The full list of ingredients, all natural and lovely stuff, is below. The product is 90% organic.

Oat (Avena Sativa) Kernel Meal*, Rhassoul Clay (Montmorillonite)*/***, Chamomile Macerate in Sunflower oil*, Argan (Argania Spinosa) Kernal Oil*/***, Coconut (Cocos Nucifera) Oil*, MSM (Dimethyl Sulfone) from Pine Trees, Chamomile (Chamomilla Recutita Matricaria) Flower*, Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) Root Powder*, Kelp (Ascophyllum Nodosum)**, Marigold (Calendula Officinalis) Flower Oil*, Vitamin E (natural d-alpha tocopherol), Glyceryl Caprilate, Grapefruit (Citrus Grandis) Seed Extract in vegetable glycerin, Acerola cherry (Malpighia Glabra) Fruit Extract*.* organic   |   ** wild harvested   |   *** Fairtrade
The cleanser is gentle enough to be used everyday. I really liked that, as its quite rare to find a cleanser that is a gentle exfoliator as well, and to be able to use daily. As I mentioned before, when I opened the pot, the cleanser looked like rough mud. But with contact with water it forms a brown-grey paste, that starts to feel much more gentle than the dry product. When washing my face with it, it felt like I was putting 'food for skin' on it and I would leave it on for a minute before washing it off. I guess that would allow the clay and oils to work their magic. After washing off, the skin would feel soft and clear, without any residue of the product. I really enjoyed this cleanser, and loved the gentle exfoliating properties of it, as well as its interesting and natural ingredients list! Highly recommended!